Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has been approved in Argentina urgently. Why did the country violate the unspoken taboo for the use of the Russian vaccine?
Traditionally, the vaccine must be approved by the Ministry of Health, but under the conditions of the pandemic, a law was passed empowering the National Administration of Medicines, Foods and Medical Devices (ANMAT) to conduct the procedure urgently and provide a report to the Ministry of Health.
The ANMAT made such a decision on Wednesday, December 23.
“The National Agency for Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices intervened within its mandate, recommending that the Sputnik V vaccine be allowed for use,” the decree said.
The ANMAT said that the delegation from the department visited the Gamaleya Research Centre in the Russian Federation. This centre is the maker of the Sputnik V vaccine, it also carries responsibility for high-quality production and release of processed batches. The delegation, as part of the program, also paid a visit to Generium and Biocad factoies, which are part of the production process.”
The department indicates that the Sputnik V vaccine:
- was certified in the country of origin for compliance with quality standards;
- provides information on its safety and effectiveness over 91%;
- there were no serious side effects, nor were there any significant differences in efficacy observed in different age groups that participated in clinical trials.
Pfizer approved but did not confirm supplies
On Wednesday evening, December 23, ANMAT announced that the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Pfizer SRL was also approved, although this vaccine had previously received approval from the Argentine Ministry of Health. The Russian vaccine (300,000 doses) was delivered to Argentina before Christmas, but nothing has been decided yet as far as the supplies of the Pfizer vaccine is concerned.
Sources at Pfizer confirmed to the Clarín newspaper that there were certain disagreements about the contract. It goes about Argentina’s compensation to the pharmaceutical company for damages in cases of misuse or loss of the vaccine, except for cases resulting from fraud, malicious behavior or negligence on the part of the aforementioned entities.”
There are probably transportation difficulties as the Pfizer vaccine requires storage conditions at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius. The company is not ready to answer for “negligence.”
Meanwhile, the Argentine government promised that the vaccination would begin before the end of this year, and the Argentine Ministry of Health certified Sputnik V on December 23, immediately after the ANMAT report. Argentine has thus become the second country in the world after Belarus to have registered the Russian vaccine.
In an interview with reporters, Argentinean President Alberto Fernandez assured that he would be one of the first people to be vaccinated with Sputnik V.
In this context, the head of state indicated that he wanted to have all available vaccines in his country, because the epidemiological crisis in Argentina is extremely serious. Therefore, vaccines from other two companies are also awaiting ANMAT’s approval, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
The Western media wage an information war against the Russian vaccine. There is an unspoken ban on its approval: this was directly indicated to Ukraine at the US Embassy, while supplies of Western vaccines to Kiev were also denied. Alberto Fernandez did not complain to the media that he did not know how to explain it to the Argentines that the Russian vaccine could not be purchased – he simply purchased it and thus proved it to everyone that the lives of Argentines matter.
AstraZeneca earlier announced that it would test a joint vaccine with Russia. They will take the second component from Sputnik V, which is believed to enhance the effectiveness of their own vaccine. However, the Western media prefers to keep silence about that.